April 16, 2015 - 2:50 PM
KAMLOOPS - A nurse was seriously assaulted last night at a Kamloops psychiatric centre.
The incident took place Wednesday, April 15, at Hillside Centre. The nurse, who was treated and is now recovering at home, apparently responded in self defense. Other staff had to intervene when they responded to the code white situation.
Health Minister Terry Lake issued a statement calling the assault 'serious.' The minister says he has formed a team to review the situation and bring immediate recommendations back to the ministry. Lake will be joining Gayle Duteil, the nurses' union president, at a meeting at Hillside Centre tomorrow, Friday, April 17.
"Violence is never acceptable in health care or anywhere else," Lake said, adding the tertiary care facility deals with patients with complex needs.
He said the ministry recognizes its struggles and works to improve worker safety.
“The fact that another nurse has been hurt while trying to provide safe patient care underscores the urgent need to make worksites safer," Duteil said. "The parties responsible for delivering patient care need to focus on the safety and security of nurses and other health care providers.”
Hillside has received several WorkSafe B.C. orders and warnings of potential violence yet, according to Duteil, the problems persist and nurses are still at risk.
Nurses have experienced serious injuries in the course of duty at Hillside Centre in the past and in December a doctor at Penticton Regional Hospital was seriously assaulted by a patient in the psychiatric unit as well.
The B.C. Nurses' Union has said such incidents could be avoided with proper staffing and better security and earlier this year said it has considered pursuing legal action against violent patients.
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— This story was updated at 2:20 p.m., Thursday, April 16, with additional details from the union and MLA Terry Lake.
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